Brian Boyd Previews the 2018 Vodafone Gold Coast 600
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd says this weekend’s Vodafone Gold Coast 600 will be last round of the three-race Pirtek Enduro Cup.
In this, the third-last round for the season championship, which is shaping up to be a close contest between Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin, said Mr Brian Boyd.
“It is also round eight and the final round of the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup, with the championship also not yet a done deal,” added Mr Boyd.
Team PAYCE update – Brian Boyd
“Flying the flag in Supercars for PAYCE and Paynter Dixon will be the pairing of Garth Tander and Chis Pither in the Wilson Security Racing GRM #33 Commodore, while James Golding and Richard Muscat will share the team’s #34 Commodore.
“In the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup, reigning champion David Wall and James Moffat in the #1and #38 Porsches may not be in contention to take out this year’s title, but they will still be keen to put some more points on the board. David is currently third and James seventh in the championship.”
Brian says all the drivers and teams say they like the Gold Coast street circuit with its high curbs, but the concrete walls can be unforgiving as James Moffat found out last year driving the #34 GRM Commodore, noted Brian Boyd.
“To be successful, it takes full commitment without making mistakes. Over the years, there have been some horrendous crashes and this year, with nothing to lose championship-wise, there will be some more willing to take risks than others.
“Weatherwise, it is looking promising, although with a hint of wet conditions at some point. After the early weather predictions for Bathurst, you can’t rely on long range forecasts too much, but a couple of days out, the prediction for Sunday is mainly fine with possible showers,” Brian said.
Virgin Australia Supercars – Brian Boyd
Brian said this year’s Supercars round of the Gold Coast 600 will be the last of the two-race format after the recent announcement that next year this endurance round will be one 500 kilometre race on Sunday.
“In the same announcement and for the first time, this year’s race will have a Top Ten Shootout for both the Saturday and Sunday 300 kilometre races, which is great news for race fans,” commented Mr Brian Boyd.
“After a strong result at this year’s Bathurst 1000, the Wilson Security Racing GRM team will be looking to back up that performance with a good result on the Gold Coast this weekend.
“Both the Garth Tander/Chris Pither and James Golding/Richard Muscat duos ran well up in the field all day at Bathurst to finish 6th and 8th respectively.
“For James, it was his first top ten finish in this his first full time drive in the series, while Garth now has five top ten finishes this year. James will no doubt be buoyed by the news that his drive with GRM next year is locked in,” noted Mr Boyd.
Brian said the championship looks to be a two-horse race, with just 19 points separating Shane van Gisbergen from Scotty McLaughlin.
“Jamie Whincup is still in the running, but with a deficit of 404 points he needs some top results and the other two to fail,” said Brian.
Shaping up for an action packed weekends motorsport - Mr Brian Boyd
Action on track starts with three 30 minute practice sessions through the day on Friday, then a short 20 minute qualifying session on Saturday morning to determine the Top Ten Shootout participants and set the field for 11th to 26th for the 102 lap race later in the day.
Sunday’s program follows the same format as Saturday with another 20 minute qualifying session, a Top Ten Shootout and the second leg of the endurance round over another 102 laps or 300 kilometres.
By Sunday afternoon there will be some very happy owners of the coveted surf boards that go to all the podium places.
Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup – Brian Boyd
Brian said the 2018 championship for the Pro class will be decided on the streets of the Gold Coast this weekend, with the eighth round wrapping up the series and the Endurance Cup.
“With six different round winners this has certainly been an unpredictable season, although Jaxon Evans has a home town advantage this weekend plus he was the round winner at the circuit last year,” noted Brian.
“Dale Wood has a narrow lead in the Endurance Cup, while David Wall and Jaxon Evans are close on his heels.
“Reigning champion, Team PAYCE member, David Wall will have to surrender his title after this round as he is not in striking distance nor is his stablemate, James Moffat in the #18 Porsche.
“However, David notched up a race win along with a podium third at Bathurst, so he would no doubt dearly love to finish off the year on a high with a round or race win and possibly with the endurance title to his credit,” Brian said.
Under starters orders - Brian Boyd
The field have a busy Friday with two 20 minute practice sessions then an all-important qualifying session for 20 minutes in the afternoon. Their endurance race over 32 laps gets underway early on Saturday with a shorter 12 lap race in the afternoon.
They return to the track on Sunday afternoon for a 12 lap curtain-raiser to the Supercars, which also wraps up what has been a very competitive season.